Friday Full-Length: Trouble, Simple Mind Condition

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Trouble, Simple Mind Condition (2007)

In light of the announcement earlier this week that Hammerheart Records in the Netherlands has undertaken the rather significant charge of stewarding deluxe reissues of Trouble‘s entire catalog to-date as well as putting out their next full-length, it seemed only fair to close out the week with an album by the Chicago-based doom legends. They have eight albums to this point, the most recent of them having been 2013’s The Distortion Field (review here), and over the course of a career that dates back to 1978, they’ve hardly been Uriah Heep or Hawkwind when it comes to output, but they put out six LPs between 1984 and 1995 and have done just two since, so take from that what you will. One of those, obviously, is The Distortion Field. The other is its predecessor, Simple Mind Condition, from 2007.

Whether because of the direction away from earlier-Sabbathian riffs and grooves heavy metal took in the post-NWOBHM ’80s or the more hard-rocking direction Trouble embarked on circa their 1990 self-titled, moving into a semi-psychedelic phase through 1992’s Manic Frustration and 1995’s Plastic Green Head, they’ve long since been due for a level of consideration that’s proven elusive. In 2006, when Stockholm’s Escapi Music signed them and began reissuing pieces of their back catalog and sundry live offerings, their Unplugged recordings and so on, it seemed like perhaps their work was receiving a bit of well-earned respect, and though he’d already left the band once in the 1990s and been replaced by Kyle Thomas of Exhorder, I have to think that if Simple Mind Condition had gotten a bigger reception, vocalist Eric Wagner might have at least considered staying with Trouble after the release. Instead, it marks his final album with them after what was then already a nearly-30-year run.

But what a record. No, Simple Mind Condition isn’t the riffy force of Trouble and it doesn’t carry the morose feel of their landmark 1984 debut, Psalm 9 (discussed here), but it is a mature presentation of the band Trouble were at that point. The guitars of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin, on point as ever, while bassist Chuck Robinson and drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson locked in a groove on opener “Goin’ Home” that seemed to hold for the entire 11-track/45-minute duration. Trouble were always about that crunch in the guitars — their tone no less a signature than Wagner‘s soaring vocals in the early days — but with Simple Mind Condition, the songwriting came front and center in a way that was genuinely exciting and, at least to an extent, fresh. Consider it had been 12 years since Plastic Green Head, and Simple Mind Condition was the first album since Wagner rejoined the band after leaving the first time.

The hooks in “Mindbender” and “Seven” and the swinging “Pictures of Life” not only kept an underlying doomy feel — the chug of the latter is up there with whatever classic metal you want to put it next to — not to mention the later “Trouble Maker” or “Simple Mind Condition” or “If I Only Had a Reason.” Even the ballads “After the Rain” and “The Beginning of Sorrows” — the latter delivering the line “Sewing pillows for those which are asleep,” from which The Skull would later derive the name of their first LP — proved memorable when given the time to do so, and along with a cover of Lucifer’s Friend‘s “Ride the Sky” that fit seamlessly among the originals, and the quirk in “Arthur Brown’s Whiskey Bar,” with Wagner touching on some oftrouble simple mind condition the Beatles influence that the band manifested in their psychedelic days — they covered “Tomorrow Never Knows” on Plastic Green Head, and Wagner‘s short-lived post-Trouble project, Lid, certainly had that vibe as well on 1997’s In the Mushroom — while of course referencing the ’60s psych era in the title character of the song, added personality between the start-stop stomp of “Trouble Maker” and the thrust of the title-track.

All of this tells the story of an album that is front to back, flat out, all in. No pretense, heavy, raw in its way when it wants to be, but of course with rampant melody. They were never the most energetic of bands, and neither were they intended to be, but Simple Mind Condition still ups the tempo when it wants to, whether it’s the lurch-to-life at the bass-led outset of “Goin’ Home” or “Ride the Sky”‘s recognizable signature progression, and they’re no less at home in doing so than in the piano-complemented emotionalism of “The Beginning of Sorrows,” which builds from its subdued beginning over the course of its sub-five-minute run as Wagner intones, “Six long years/Since I’ve been in love/Yeah, maybe since birth,” and lets the sadness of those lines stand on its own, beautifully understated.

It’s a what-if record. The landscape of heavy into which Simple Mind Condition was introduced was vastly different from what the underground would become even a few years later as the new generation to which Trouble seemed to be speaking actually opened its ears. But by then it was too late, at least for Trouble as they were up to that point. They toured without Wagner to support Simple Mind Condition and the various other Escapi releases, and I remember seeing them at the old Knitting Factory in Manhattan circa 2008 with fellow Chicagoans Minsk opening and Warrior Soul vocalist Kory Clarke fronting the band. Franklin and Wartell sounded great, of course, but as a band it just didn’t work, and they brought in Thomas once again shortly thereafter. Sometimes you try a thing, I guess. I seem to recall Clarke was a last-minute call anyhow.

Of course, Wagner went on to form The Skull with former Trouble bassist Ron Holzner and Sacred Dawn guitarist Lothar Keller, and they’ve been touring and releasing albums since, at first playing old Trouble material and gradually bringing originals to the mix, then letting their own songs take priority. Their two full-lengths to-date, 2014’s For Those Which are Asleep (review here) and 2018’s The Endless Road Turns Dark (review here), shone like a melancholy beacon and realized the potential in Simple Mind Condition to engage that emergent generational audience of which Trouble seemed just a couple years ahead. Those are two of the last decade’s best American doom records, easily, and inextricably tied to Trouble‘s legacy while forging their own outward path therefrom.

I don’t know what Trouble‘s new deal with Hammerheart — which is more known for its dealings with death and black metal than doom — will bring. A chance for fans to buy records they already own? Bonus material? I don’t know. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll get to review some of those albums? Maybe? We’ll see. One way or the other, since their inception, Trouble worked against trend and were a band who spoke to a particular segment of the heavy converted. It would be great if they got the museum-grade respect they deserve, but even if that doesn’t happen, at least it’s a chance for a few new heads to turn on to what they were doing all along, and maybe Simple Mind Condition — which has been reissued along the way, in 2009, 2010, 2013 — can play a role in making that happen. It was a special, fleeting moment for the Trouble, and one that, 13 years after the fact, still holds up.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Things seemed to settle down a bit this week, which was good. We had The Patient Mrs.’ birthday dinner last Sunday, and that was kind of a mess while it was actually coming together, but by the time food was served it was fine. I think it’s been since Monday that I last really felt the need to take a xanax, so that’s something, and I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on the semester schedule and how to work the days with The Pecan and all that kind of thing. His going to part-time daycare on Wednesdays and Thursdays has been working out for him, and he has had a language explosion over the last month-plus that has helped cut a lot of frustration he was feeling not being able to express himself. He talks now almost as much as he moves, and he moves constantly.

Actually, he fell at daycare in some woodchips or something this week and cut up his face. His teacher when The Patient Mrs. and I went to pick him up was all worried in telling us like we were going to freak out. We were like, “shrug.” She said he just got up and kept running like nothing happened and I said, “Yup, that’s who he is.” This kid falls every single day in ways that, if I did it, I’d have to go to bed for a week. I’m not bragging because he’s tough or whatever — it’s something we worked on, actively not making a big deal of it when he falls down.

And now he does and it’s no drama. He falls off the couch. He falls off his bike. He falls running. He falls jumping. He bumps into walls, tables, shelves, doors, whatever. He slips while climbing the windowsill. It doesn’t matter. You have to stop yourself from reaching for him, but now when he plotzes down I mostly just laugh, and so he does too. And if he starts complaining I say, “You’re fine,” and he is. That’s just who he is. He’s that kind of kid. That’s the real him. I was glad it came out at what we’ve been calling “school” just for the ease of doing so.

The week’s centerpiece as regards general plight was money. As in, we don’t have any. And The Patient Mrs. made the woeful mistake of extrapolating how much we spend on groceries per year and, well, that just sucked. I offered to get a job — go work in some store or something — but it hasn’t really been part of the discussion. We’re keeping receipts for the next week or so and then seeing where we’re at and what we can do. I fucking hate money. I hate everything about it. I hate having it, I hate spending it, I hate making it, I hate not having it. It astounds me that, as a species evolved over hundreds of thousands and millions of years, we’ve so totally failed to come up with anything better to do with our time than engage in the pursuit and interchange of so much made-up bullshit. That I spend so much time, and that my wife — who pays our bills — spends so much of her time, fretting about these things shames me deeply.

But it’s the weekend. I have work to do on the Roadburn ‘zine, and some other stuff, but next week is pretty full. Look out for a Foot track premiere on Monday. Australian band. That record is so god damn good. There’s other stuff too, a few announcements here and there. A My Dying Bride review. It’ll be fun.

The kid’s up, so I’m gonna get rolling on the day. Great and safe weekend. Have fun, be kind. FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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Trouble Sign to Hammerheart Records for New Album and Reissues

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Signing on to reissue the entire Trouble catalog is no minor commitment for a record label to make. Hammerheart Records will reportedly not only reissue the Chicago doom legends’ entire discography — that’s eight full-length albums, mind you — but will do so on remastered vinyl, 2CD and tapes, as well as the standard downloads, and that includes giving 2013’s The Distortion Field (review here) a proper look. That’s a huge deal. Plus they’re announcing that Trouble will have a new record out before the end of this year — stranger things have happened but I’m on a believe-it-when-I-see-it basis when it comes to doom LPs — and that they’ll put that out as well.

Basically what this means is that Trouble have a new home. The reissues are starting this May with Psalm 9 and will proceed onward from there, and it’s obvious that Hammerheart is passionate about the project, otherwise they wouldn’t even take it on. It’s awesome to see and hopefully it introduces Trouble‘s most essential works to a new generational audience, because frankly the more people who are exposed to it, the better.

Here’s news:

trouble

Hammerheart Records announces partnership with metal legends Trouble

Hammerheart Records will partner with the legendary metal band Trouble to re-release their entire musical catalogue, in addition to their upcoming album.

Hammerheart Records is thrilled to announce their biggest achievement to-date with the signing of doom metal legends Trouble to their label. This partnership that will see the distribution of the band’s entire library of music that spans over three decades.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Hammerheart Records and joining their roster of bands”, stated Rick Wartell, Trouble founder/guitarist. “Our entire back catalogue of music will be made available to our fans worldwide, as well as our upcoming release scheduled for later this year.”

Hammerheart Records and Trouble will re-issue the full catalogue with each album remastered and reworked with the respect to the original recordings. Every album will be reissued on a deluxe 2-CD edition, vinyl, music cassette, and digital offerings. Releases will be scheduled chronologically, starting in May 2020 with the album now known as Psalm 9, which was originally released on Metal Blade Records in 1984 and is hailed as one of the Trouble of doom metal music.

Other Trouble releases will follow including other 80’s heavy classics, the 90’s psychedelic era, and more recent releases including the critically-acclaimed The Distortion Field. All equally essential to Trouble fans, and lovers of heavy metal everywhere.

A new Trouble album is planned for release at the end of 2020 and will be heavier than ever.

Trouble is:
Kyle Thomas : vocals,
Bruce Franklin : guitar,
Rick Wartell : guitar,
Rob Hultz : bass,
Marko Lira : drums

https://www.facebook.com/TroubleMetal/
https://www.facebook.com/hammerheartrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/hammerheartrecords666/
https://www.hammerheart.com/

Trouble, Live on TV in 1982

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The Skull Announce Tour Dates with Earthride and Hyborian

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the skull

Doom on. I’m not sure much more than that really needs to be said about The Skull announcing a run of headlining tour dates with Maryland’s finest, Earthride, as direct support. Chicago doom meets Maryland doom. Needless to say, it’s going to be pretty gosh darn doomed.

The Skull release their new album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, this Fall on Tee Pee, and if you’re not looking forward to that, I’ve got nothing for you. The timeline on Earthride‘s next full-length is a little more vague, but with their recent Witch Gun single came word that was in the works as well. Hyborian, meanwhile, recently issued their first album through Season of Mist.

The PR wire has those dates:

the skull tour poster

The Skull Announces U.S. Headlining Tour Dates

Doom Metal Legends Complete Work on New Album ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has completed work on its highly anticipated sophomore album. Titled, The Endless Road Turns Dark, the LP was recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull’s debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep, a recording that landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A fall release date via Tee Pee Records is projected for the new LP.

To celebrate the completion of the new album, The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) has announced a U.S. headlining tour that will launch on June 2 in in Chicago where the band will headline the third annual Doomed & Stoned Fest. The 12 city jaunt will run through June 15 in Lombard, IL. On the spring tour, The Skull will be joined by guest drummer Henry Vasquez of Saint Vitus who will fill in for Dixon. Opening acts will include Earthride and Hyborian.

The just-announced itinerary is as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
June 2 Chicago, IL Reggie’s (as part of Doomed & Stoned Fest)
June 3 Minneapolis, MN Studio B @ Skyway Theatre
June 5 Bozeman, MT Zebra Lounge
June 7 Seattle, WA Highline
June 8 Bellingham, WA Shakedown
June 9 Portland, OR Star Theatre
June 10 Sacramento, CA Blue Lamp
June 11 Santa Cruz, CA Atrium @ Catalyst
June 12 San Francisco, CA Elbo Room
June 13 Los Angeles, CA Resident
June 14 Las Vegas, NV Count’s Vamp’d
June 15 San Diego, CA Soda Bar

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

The Skull, For Those Which are Asleep (2014)

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The Skull Finish New LP The Endless Road Turns Dark; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

One hates to even think of things in these terms, but from where I sit, The Skull‘s forthcoming second album for Tee Pee, produced by Sanford Parker and given the title The Endless Road Turns Dark, is the only possible record that can touch Apostle of Solitude‘s From Gold to Ash this year when it comes to US traditional doom. There are other candidates to be sure, but thinking back to what The Skull were able to accomplish on their 2014 debut, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), the potential for this to be one of the best albums of 2018 is palpable and then some.

The Skull just wrapped a tour playing Trouble‘s self-titled album in its entirety and will hit the road again this month on a headlining tour the dates for which came down the PR wire. I’ll hope to have more to come on The Endless Road Turns Dark before the slated autumn release:

the skull

The Skull Completes Work on New Album ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’

Doom Metal Legends Announce Spring U.S. Headlining Tour Dates

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has completed work on its highly anticipated sophomore album. Titled, The Endless Road Turns Dark, the LP was recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Tombs) and builds on the foundation laid by The Skull’s debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep, a recording that landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A fall release date is projected for the new LP.

To celebrate the completion of the new album, The Skull, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) has announced a spring U.S. headlining tour that will launch on April 18 in Rochester, NY. The 16 city jaunt will run through May 5 in Lombard, IL. The just-announced itinerary is as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
April 18 Rochester, NY Montage Music Hall
April 19 Worcester, MA Ralph’s Rock Diner
April 20 Jewett City, CT Altone’s
April 21 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
April 22 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
April 23 Harrisonburg, VA Golden Pony
April 24 Raleigh, NC Pour House Music Hall
April 25 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn
April 26 New Orleans, LA Santos Bar
April 27 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
April 28 San Antonio, TX The Limelight
April 30 Dallas, TX Reno’s Chop Shop
May 1 Austin, TX Hotel Vegas
May 3 Newport, KY Southgate House Revival
May 4 Detroit, MI Harpos
May 5 Lombard, IL Brauerhouse Live

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

The Skull, For Those Which are Asleep (2014)

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The Skull Tour Launches this Week; Playing Trouble’s Self-Titled in Full

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the skull

Easiest sell ever. Chicago doomers The Skull head out this week on a major-market US tour playing Trouble‘s 1990 self-titled album in full. Seriously. What more could you ask of the universe than that? Who in their right mind doesn’t want to see Eric Wagner sing “The Wolf” on stage? Or “Black Shapes of Doom?” Or “At the End of My Daze?” Great googly-moogly, that record kicks ass. If you need to be told to show up to this one, you’re fucking up. Sorry, but there it is.

Oh yeah, and for a bonus? The Skull have finished recording their second album and the follow-up to 2014’s For Those Which are Asleep (review here), which was produced by no less than Sanford Goshdarn Parker and will be out this summer. I guess that’s what more you could ask of the universe. And there it is.

Awesome:

the skull tour

The Skull to Kick Off “The Skull Plays ‘Trouble'” North American Headlining Tour January 25

Doom Metal Legends to Perform Trouble’s Classic 1990 Self-Titled in its Entirety on Special Winter Trek

The Skull, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, has announced a winter North American headlining tour. The 15 city jaunt, which will see The Skull performing Trouble’s classic 1990 Def American Recordings self-titled [label] debut, Trouble, in its entirety, will kick off on January 25 in Chicago, IL. The band, which also features longtime Cathedral drummer Brian Dixon, guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) will also play The Skull songs at the special one-time-only shows.

In additional news, The Skull has completed work on its as-yet-untitled new album. Recorded in Chicago’s Decade Music Studios with engineer Sanford Parker (Yob, Secrets of the Moon), the record is the follow-up to The Skull’s heralded debut, For Those Which Are Asleep, which landed at or near the top of a host of 2014 year-end best of lists. A summer 2018 release date is projected for the new LP.

THE SKULL tour dates:
January 25 Chicago, IL Reggies
January 26 Rock Island, IL Ribco
January 27 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
January 28 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
January 29 Pittsburgh, PA Howlers
January 30 Toronto, ON Hard Luck
January 31 Ottawa, ON Mavericks
February 1 Montreal, QC Bar Le Ritz
February 2 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
February 3 Brooklyn, NY Kingsland
February 4 Washington, DC Atlas Brew Works
February 5 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
February 6 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
February 7 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
February 9 Detroit, MI Harpos

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull/
https://twitter.com/theskullusa
http://theskullusa.com/
https://teepeerecords.com/

Trouble, Trouble (1990)

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Doomed Gatherings III: Crowbar, Elder, Toner Low and Many More Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

doomed gatherings iii header

You know how I know Doomed Gatherings III has its shit together? Yeah, they’ve got Elder, Crowbar, Trouble, Monolord, Egypt, Ramesses, Mantar and so on confirmed to play over the course of the three-night event in Paris this May, and that’s super. Not arguing against any of that. But how you really know is that not only are Toner Low playing the thing, but they’re playing a set all three nights. That’s right: a Toner Low residency. I don’t know about you, but from where I sit there’s nothing about that concept that isn’t badass.

Details and ticket links follow for the big to-do, for which there are reportedly more band announcements to come. Makes sense, as May’s still a ways off. The following came down the PR wire:

doomed gatherings iii poster

Crowbar, Ramesses, Trouble and more confirmed to play third DOOMED GATHERINGS festival in Paris!

The third edition of France’s only doom, sludge and filth-oriented festival DOOMED GATHERINGS is taking up residence again at Glazart venue in Paris, for three days of crushing, highly grooving and undoubtedly smoke-filled performances. The lineup is now almost complete with a total of twenty-one bands, among which Crowbar, Ramesses, Trouble, Monolord and Elder. Let there be doom.

DOOMED GATHERINGS III
May 14-16th at Glazart – Paris, France
3-day pass (55€) and day tickets (25€) on sale HERE

The current lineup is as follows, with two more bands remaining to be announced. Hotel deals will come up soon along with next announcement.

DAY 1 ? Saturday 14th May ?
Ramesses (UK) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Mantar ? Egypt (USA) ? Demonic Death Judge (FIN) ? The Lumberjack Feedback (FR) ? NNRA ? Bathsheba (BE)

DAY 2 ? Sunday 15h May ?
Crowbar (USA) ? Trouble (USA) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Samothrace (USA) ? Hang The Bastard (UK) ? Throw Me in the Crater (NL) + 2 more bands TBA

DAY 3 ? Monday 16h May ?
Elder (USA) ? Monolord (SWE) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Electric Moon (DE) ? Chaos E.T. Sexual (FR) ? DDENT (FR) ? Carousel (USA)

Doomed Gatherings is the first festival in France for everything doom, sludge, filthy and psyched out. Taking place for the third year at Glazart in the 19th district of Paris, the festival is powered by national heavy promoters Stoned Gatherings and assembles a fine selection of international headliners and breakthrough acts, for the sheer love of Heavy.

Glazart is an indoor/outdoor club located in the north-east of Paris, near reknown architectural unit of La Villette, a venue that is easily reachable from the underground and tramway lines.

? Getting to Glazart ?
7-15 avenue de La Porte de la Villette, 75019 Paris
? Metro 7 (Porte de la Villette station)
or Tram 3b (Porte de la Villette station)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1717007591852526
https://www.weezevent.com/doomed-gatherings
https://www.facebook.com/doomed.gatherings
https://twitter.com/StonedGathering

The Body, Live at Doomed Gatherings 2014

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Deserfest London 2016: Final Headliner Announced and Lineup Complete

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Well, that’s a wrap for Desertfest London 2016… unless, you know, you count the actual holding of the fest in April. Which you should probably count. Okay, maybe not a wrap at all.

But the lineup is complete, and that’s something in itself. Spanning genres and geographical borders, I feel like this year’s Desertfest London perfectly emphasizes just how much this festival has grown in its five years into this encompassing celebration of heavy rock, sludge and doom, holding firm to its local roots even in this last batch of bands, while also expanding its reach in pulling legendary acts from beyond the UK and Europe as well.

Russian Circles will headline the second of Desertfest London 2016’s three dog nights, and a slew of others have joined the bill as well, including Mondo DragStinking Lizaveta, underrated Londoners Crystal HeadSiena Root and many more details below:

desertfest london 2016 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON: lineup complete with Russian Circles headlining the Saturday!

Russian Circles to headline the fifth edition of DESERTFEST LONDON this spring in Camden!

It’s finally here: your complete DESERTFEST LONDON 2016 line-up has arrived! Chicago’s majestic instrumental progsters Russian Circles are set to headline the Saturday night with Pelican as lead support. Not only that, but we have the mighty forefathers of doom Trouble celebrating their 30th anniversary with a very special show for us, just before Electric Wizard bring down the Sunday night curtain in style! See you all in April…

Desertfest is all about our passion for heavy music, our love through deep-rooted friendships and above all, our collective appreciation of diversity, musical skill and the broadest range of powerful performances…

RUSSIAN CIRCLES are not from the desert, they’re not exponents of standard 5-minute, 4-4 rock songs and they expose their soundscapes exclusively for us to form our own interpretations without the mask of any form of lyrics. Shrouded in darkness, illuminated only by flashes of white light and the occasionally projected visual, they’re performers worthy of headlining any show in front of an audience who have the ability to think before they roar. With fellow instrumental crusher-destroyers PELICAN primed and ready as their main support, get ready to see, smell and FEEL the sheer weight of these swirls of Siberia.

Desertfest is also proudly joining in with Chicago doom legends TROUBLE’s 30th anniversary celebrations. Original members Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell will be touching the sky with their classic dual guitar leads and now-established front man Kyle Thomas (Alabama Thunderpussy, Floodgate, Exhorder) will be tempting the crowds with his prayers for the dead, it’s going to be a real mind bender!

The rest of final announcement for Desertfest London 2016 goes as follows:
SIENA ROOT
STINKING LIZAVETA
DYSE
MANTAR
MONDO DRAG
GURT
NECRO DEATHMORT
CAROUSEL
THE MOTH
CRYSTAL HEAD
SPIDER KITTEN
SEDULUS
BEASTMAKER
DOG DAYS

– DESERTFEST LONDON 2016 –
April 29th to May 1st in Camden, London (UK)
Weekend tickets available AT THIS LOCATION

https://www.leedstickets.com/eventinfo/4804/Desertfest-2016
http://www.thedesertfest.com/london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://instagram.com/desertfest
http://desertfest.bigcartel.com/

Russian Circles, Live at Saint Vitus Bar 2014

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Eric Wagner Posts Acoustic Track “An Absurd Jurisdiction”

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

eric wagner

Apparently it’s been a busy couple weeks for Eric Wagner. The former Trouble vocalist has got a new solo album out, an acoustic release called Highdeas Vol. 1 that seems to be drawn from demos and raw versions of material that would later be developed for records by his current bands The Skull and Blackfinger. A self-release put on sale in Wagner‘s BigCartel store, it’s available now, which if you’ve ever heard him sing is probably about all you need to know to make you click onward to a purchase. Fair enough.

In addition to that, The Skull have added guitarist Rob Wrong of Witch Mountain to their lineup, which, frankly, was something of a surprise. Wrong takes the place of sometimes-Pentagram axeman Matt Goldsborough alongside The Skull‘s Lothar Keller, Wagner, bassist Ron Holzner and drummer Sean Saley, the latter of whom is also a Pentagram expat. The Skull also recently filmed a hometown show in Chicago for who knows what purpose, and will head out on a rather extensive European tour come Spring that includes a stop at Roadburn 2016. I’m assuming they’ll head back to the US sometime between, but they’ll also be appearing at Hellfest in France come June.

Like I say, a lot going on for Wagner, who posted the track “An Absurd Jurisdiction” in order to get word out about the release of Highdeas Vol. 1. Find the cover — reminiscent of some self-released Trouble live records from years past — album info, links, and of course the song itself, below:

eric wagner highdeas vol. 1

The legendary voice of Trouble, Blackfinger, and The Skull, Eric Wagner enters the studio with nothing more than his acoustic guitar.

“Highdeas Vol. 1” is a collection of early song drafts that would eventually become part of The Skull and Blackfinger. Just Eric and his acoustic. Released 2015.

1. On Tuesday Morning
2. Trapped Inside My Mind
3. Ima Ghost
4. All The Leaves Are Brown
5. An Absurd Jurisdiction
6. Here Comes The Rain
7. My Many Colored Days
8. Yellowood
9. Heaven
10. As Long As I’m With You

http://ericwagner.bigcartel.com/
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Eric Wagner, “An Absurd Jurisdiction”

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